Austin Aries On TNA Dropping The Ball, The Business Changing & More

Austin Aries On TNA Dropping The Ball, The Business Changing & More

Austin Aries recently spoke with the folks at Busted Open Radio about a number of topics. Below are some of the highlights from the interview:

On the pro wrestling business changing and what could come of it: “It’s kind of important for the fans to remember that we are kind of in uncharted territories with wrestling. They’re seeing some business models changing, some ideas and thought processes maybe changing a little bit. You know, I’ve only been out of a contract with TNA for a little over a week and we deciding not to resign there at the time wasn’t really an indictment of TNA as much as the landscape in general and just really wanting to take some time and get a lay the land so to speak because there is a lot of great things going on. I haven’t ended my conversations with TNA and you could see me back there because they are maybe willing to bring some guys in that aren’t under exclusive deals and they’re seeing that the landscape is changing. I think everyone just has to kind of be patient and not jump to conclusions. I always see “He’s back signing with ROH”, and so people are still back in that old thought process of if a guy is going somewhere then he must be under lock and key … and as we saw as you alluded to with Samoa Joe showing up on NXT under, initially, a non-exclusive deal, that really changed the landscape and opened some doors that maybe hasn’t been opened before. I think it’s a really cool time … a really exciting time for wrestling. There is a contingency of people who have come into positions to make a difference, who are trying to do business the right way, and move the wrestling business forward … and I think we need to jump on those trains at full speed ahead because wrestling needs to be moved forward. Like I said, I’m out here in LA, with a talent management company, dealing with lots of friends in different avenues of entertainment … and it’s funny because they look at me in awe, and my colleagues in awe, at what we are able to go out there and do on a performance level. But then understanding the professional wrestling business end, they’re also in awe of that a little bit too because maybe we aren’t always put on the pedestal we should for what we go out there and do.”

On TNA dropping the ball on his title run: “I guess as frank as I can say it … somebody dropped the ball, and it wasn’t me. I was ready to run with it and somebody knocked it out of my hands from behind. I’m not sure where the decision was made, but I agree with your assessment and I think a lot of people agree with that assessment [that TNA had red hot momentum when they put the title on Aries]. You know, sometimes you have too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. At that time, that could have been the case of what was going on. You have different people fighting for different directions. All I wanted to do was to go on television every week and have the best god damn wrestling match of any company, anywhere. And we were poised to do that because we had all these fresh guys and matchups lined up that people wanted to see and the buzz was there and it was organic. Cowboy James Storm, he had earned a right for that championship title match and I kind of came along and maybe stole it from him … and I didn’t want to forget about him. I wanted to bring him back in the fold and give him the opportunity he had … I thought there was a lot we still could have done. And yeah, I’m disappointed I didn’t get the opportunity, but again… I don’t make those decisions. I take what decisions are made and do the best with them. I do feel that there was a lot more left on the table there that could have been done. And I think they may be a problem overall in wrestling … not just with TNA or any certain company. I think people tend to think that once a guy wins a championship, that’s when he’s made … and for me I always feel that’s when it begins. That’s when a guy has a real opportunity to cement himself as a superstar or as a top tier guy. But you have to be able to see that through and give the guy the opportunity to succeed or to fail on his own. That’s really all I wanted … was the opportunity to succeed or fail on my own. But plans change. Jeff Hardy came in … no one is going to discount Jeff Hardy and what he brings to the industry with his name value, his name recognition … so it had nothing to do with Jeff personally, I just felt like I didn’t get the opportunity to really help the company to the best of my abilities.”

On being a veteran in the business: “I don’t know what you guys are talking about, veteran presence, I’m a hot up and comer! In my head, I’m still like, “Wait till this wrestling world hears about me! I’m gonna take ’em by storm!” It’s funny … I guess I still don’t view myself like [a veteran]. I know I do have the time served now, but in my head I’m still that young upstart. It’s funny because I’ll read or I’ll people say, “Well, he’s passed his prime now … he’s over 35″. But I feel like I’m as good as I’ve ever been. I’m certainly wrestling smarter than I ever have. Listen, I know that I may have lost a half step, but I look back on those VHS tapes … because I am old … of my early days in wrestling and I had athleticism to spare. So, I have lost a half step but I think I’m maximizing what I have now and I’m better than ever. Understanding who I am. Understanding how I can be an asset for a promotion. And listen man, not everybody has to be on top. Not everybody has to be in the main event to make a main event impact. There are a lot of guys in TNA who embody that. They may be so good that it goes under the radar and people don’t understand just how good and how selfless they are. That is what I think that wrestling fans sometimes miss out on when they are watching or grading a match… the selflessness of certain wrestlers compared to other wrestlers. It’s easy to go in there and be about yourself and make yourself look like a star. But can you go in there and be selfless and can you go in there and make another guy look like a star, and then also make yourself look like a star? I think that there is value to that and I think that those guys eventually always make it to the top and the guys who are a little too selfish … they are gonna hit a certain point and they are going to get outed, so to speak.”

Check out the complete interview at